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Labour laments job loss, urges action to revive economy

By Toyin Olasinde   |   04 October 2016   |   3:03 am
Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, the President of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) .

Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, the President of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) .

Labour movement has decried massive job loss in the country as the nation marks its 56th independence anniversary.

The President Trade Union Congress (TUC), Bobboi Kagaima, who stated this while speaking in Lagos, said it is worrisome to see Nigerians lose their jobs in droves while action aimed at stimulating the economy is on the slow lane.

“Nigeria is the sixth oil-producing country in the world yet the poorest. Are we heading in the right direction? No. The backbone of every democracy is a vibrant parliament or National Assembly (as it is in our own case), unbiased judiciary, media and active organised labour/civil society.

“Fortunately, out of all these only labour and its civil society ally appear to be interested in the development and growth of the country. Profligacy has become the order of the day, especially the Eight Assembly. At first it was the issue of salary and allowances; exotic and bulletproof cars for lawmakers and their wives, budget padding, etc. They play politics without principles, amass wealth without work. “We are patriots and we feel your pains”, they say, but their actions speak otherwise,” he lamented.

He added there is no gainsaying the fact that all sectors of the economy have almost collapsed, while of the national currency, Naira bows every hour to foreign currencies exchanging for as low as N492 to the US dollar.

He explained that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appears helpless, not knowing what to do and many companies have close shops while others are fleeing the country, a situation that has led to millions of job lost.

According to him the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a few wealthy Nigerians have hijacked the economy and the society is the worse for it.

He said the report from Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its Second Quarter released at the beginning of September 2016, noted that the fortune of the economy has dwindled by 2.06 per cent, which has never happened in the last three decades.

“We have been assured that the recession will soon be over; we agree but it is important government look beyond the ruling party to source for capable hands that can help save our economy. All hands must be on deck to ensure that we become economically free by exporting more than we import and by patronising made in Nigeria goods,” he said.

On his part, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba said the political leadership needs to show more commitment to nation building efforts.

He urges government at all levels to build strong and viable public institutions.

He said: “As workers our faith in the Nigeria nation is unshaken. Our members in every part of the nation from the creeks in the South South, to the plain lands of the northern most part of the country, from the South East to the South West, we are committed to a united Nigeria; all those seeking to dismember our country for self-serving reasons will fail.”

He urged Nigerians to take a positive view of the country instead of indulging in self-recrimination and bitterness that hurt the majority of Nigerians.

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